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Are eSports pros inherently better than the average player?

Are eSports pros inherently better than the average player?

August 4, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

Do pro players have inherent advantages over the average player? That's the question that Dr. Amine Issa, an avid League of Legends player with a PhD in biomedical engineering, has begun to research.

He published an article today on eSports site Cloth5, as well as releasing a video about his study, which used "cognitive testing, eye-tracking, heart rate and physiologic monitoring" to try and discover what, if anything, makes pro eSports players what they are.

Dr. Issa's Thoughts

Dr. Issa also shared some of his findings in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session.

His "driving motivation" for the research, he wrote, is providing information to teams that would improve their achievement: "I think the teams can benefit so much."

"Seeing what the benefits of scientific training techniques is tremendous, and being able to apply them to eSports is real," he noted.

It's worth mentioning that Dr. Issa's research is preliminary, and the youth of the eSports movement in the West means that some questions are as yet impossible to answer. His insights, however, are interesting.

He suspects there "probably" are natural characteristics of successful eSports pros, but "I am not sure what we can identify as natural aptitude at this point. Fine motor skills, maybe? Ability to process multiple channels of information?"

For one, he expects that eSports players will likely be able to have long careers: "As for League of Legends and the age ceiling, I think the game is more about good decisions... so older players are not too disadvantaged," he wrote.

"Our physical traits begin to dull as we age, but the hope is the wisdom, experience and intelligence we have gained more than make up for it. However I think the ceiling for this is much higher than most people think."

Throughout the discussion he posits that training regimens that include proper nutrition and physical exercise -- not just PC time and energy drinks -- should have positive effects on eSports pros.

When asked about performance-enhancing drugs, he admits: "drugs do give results, no doubt. How long and how much? We don't know. Regulating them has been a nightmare in traditional sports. I don't know how we can make eSports any different."

There's much more over at Reddit.

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